ALLEGRI BIRTHDAY CONCERT AT THE WIGMORE HALL
The clock is ticking, the countdown is on for the highlight of the Allegri Quartet's 60th anniversary year - The Wigmore birthday concert on 6th July.
In an exciting programme, starting with Beethoven's Op. 18 no. 5 quartet, which the Allegris recently recorded to much critical acclaim, followed by Shostakovich's 11th Quartet, Thuile's Quartettsatz receiving its first UK performance after over 100 years of disappearance, and finally to round off the musical celebrations, the Allegri is joined by guest Violist, and principal of the BBC Symphony Orchestra Norbert Blume for a performance of the rousing quintet for double viola by Brahms in G major.
The recent Sunday morning concert sold out, so be sure to get your ticket!
There will be a party in the Bechstein room downstairs, please do join us for something to drink!
Sunday East met West in May with our collaboration with the renowned sarod virtuoso Wajahat Khan culminating in a performance of Wajahat’s composition ‘Raag Desh for sarod and string quartet’ at Kings Place, London. There were challenges aplenty for both sides. Learning a new musical language for us with our earnest first attempts at copying the nuances of inflection, complete with slides and attempts at an Indian classical music expressive vibrato. Progress was made and the concert was a great success!
ROBERT PASCALL BIRTHDAY CONCERT
Sunday 9th March was a special date in the Allegri calendar, celebrating the 70th birthday of the musicologist and long-term great friend of the Allegri Quartet Robert Pascall. He has written and spoken about historical and analytical studies of music from Bach to Schoenberg, with a special interest in Brahms. He is always out first port of call as to any queries we have in any Brahms repertoire we are working on. The celebration involved some of his favourite works – Beethoven opus 132 and Brahms (of course) – the chosen work being his third quartet and naturally – cake! (Baked by Dot!)
WIGMORE HALL DATES ANNOUNCED!
The crowning event in the Allegri birthday celebrations will be our evening Wigmore concert, which follows in hot pursuit of the coffee concert (18th May), on Sunday July the 6th, with a programme yet to be announced, but likely to include Thuille's gem of a quartet, very rarely heard, and recently recorded on the Champs Hill Label, which will be released at or before this event.
MILL HILL MUSIC CLUB
On the 24th November we will be playing at the Henrietta Barnett School. Our programme will hope to delight with quartets from Haydn (no. 68 in D minor), Brahms (Op. 51, No. 2 in A minor) and Beethoven (Op. 131 in C# minor).
Tickets are seeling fast, so please don't hesitate to book online here or to call 020 8959 3866 and speak to Michael Rawling.
Tickets are £15 and the concert commences at 7:30pm
On the 8th December at Kings Place we will give a world premiere performance of Haydn's Quartet in D minor opus 103, completed by William Drabkin. Haydn writes "Gone is all my strength, old and weak am I" on the score which consists only of two movements. This is the last of Haydn's formidable output of string quartets. Drabkin has masterly written two outer movements, the first based on sketches by Haydn - which includes the opening four bars of the work.
We spent a fascinating morning with him exploring his part of the creation and how he came up with the ideas and material used in the quartet.
He will also be giving a talk before the concert at Kings Place at 5.20pm.
Concert commences at 6:30pm.
Not to be missed!
click here for more information
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GREAT RECEPTION FOR ROTH'S 4TH
Sixty years young, and despite having had many changes of personnel over the years, the Allegri Quartet still commands an enviable international reputation, and in the opening concert of the Malvern Concert Club’s 111th season it was easy to know why.
Proceedings began with a sparkling performance of Haydn’s ever-ingenious “Rider” Quartet that exposed every nuance of the composer’s boundless wit and wisdom. Played with great poise, the slow movement was exceptionally beautiful, while the finale’s dangerously breakneck tempo was awesome in its precision. The concert concluded with an eloquent, perfectly balanced performance of Beethoven’s great Opus 127 Quartet, whose intensely argued structures were projected with a thoughtful clarity that threw light on the work’s complex inner forces. All reason enough to be enthralled, but the concert was commendable for another reason too.
Between these towering works came the world première of the Quartet No.4 by Malvern resident Alec Roth, commissioned especially by the Club with help from the Kay Trust. Roth fulfilled his brief with an expertly crafted confection whose four rather similar movements fused minimalist algorithms redolent of Steve Reich with echoes of tangos by Piazzolla and occasional snippets of Elgar that were doubtless intended as a tribute to the Club’s founder. Although comparatively lightweight in the context (something the composer himself disarmingly acknowledged,) this new quartet is certainly a worthy addition to the Allegri’s repertoire, and it was played with the same brilliance that marked the outer two works in a concert that has set the bar high for a marvellous season to come.
John Rushby-Smith, 11 October 2013 - The Hereford Times
NEW CONCERT DATES
Our latest and upcoming concert dates are now in the diary. Please click on the links for booking details!
WIGMORE HALL CONCERT 2014
We are very pleased and excited to announce that we will be performing at Wigmore Hall on 6th July 2014, as part of our 60th birthday anniversary season! More details to follow!
PASSING OF FORMER MEMBER, HUGH MAGUIRE
The Allegri Quartet is sad to announce the loss of one of its former members Hugh Maguire, who led the Quartet during the 1970's.
Please click here to read the obituary from the Telegraph.
WORLD PREMIERE OF ALEC ROTH'S STRING QUARTET NO.3
We recently gave the world premiere of Alec Roth's String Quartet No.3 at the Salisbury International Music Festival. The concert was filmed and is up on on the festival website.
To relive our performance, please click here
REVIEWS OF OUR NEW CD RELEASE
Beethoven String Quartets, Opus 18, nos 3, 4 and 5, VIVAT Label
“The Allegri play intensely, but also gracefully … All three finales are brilliant. This is an exhilarating disc.”
The Sunday Times
If Beethoven had never written another quartet, we would surely value the Op 18s more highly, and talk less about his early problems with the medium. The C minor, No 4, which begins the disc, is sometimes thought of as one of the less impressive ones, but in this incisive account, the opening allegro sweeps all before it. The Allegri play intensely, but also gracefully; they know when to give the music space. Their tempo for No 3's andante con moto is actually slower than No 5's andante cantabile in the same time signature, but I don't blame them for relishing its beauties. All three finales are brilliant. This is an exhilarating disc.
(David Cairns, The Sunday Times, 16 June 2013)
"The sound of the quartet is absolutely ideal ... I love the earthy way
that the Allegris play all three of the works"
(Dominion Post, New Zealand)
"The quartet's beautifully controlled sound in its richness, shimmer and fire"
(Otago Daily Press, New Zealand)
Many other Beethoven recordings exist by the Allegri, but this long established group has reinvented itself several times: it's now on (at least) its fifth incarnation. The current line-up plays with unforced elegance and cleanness of detail, avoiding heavy gesture in favour of nimble energy. The string quartet form was still young when Beethoven wrote his six Op 18. His debt to Haydn and Mozart may be audible but you only have to listen to the unsettling radiance of No 3 (probably written first), the dark-light intensity of the opening of No 4 or the wizard-like invention of the Andante cantabile of No 5 to know that Beethoven had already forged his own extraordinary style.
(Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 2 June 2013)
ALLEGRI 60 YEARS
From 2013 to 2014 the Allegri Quartet will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Quartet’s formation through to their first public performance – a major milestone. It looks back upon its key role on the British musical scene as Britain’s oldest chamber group. It has worked with composers such as Benjamin Britten, Michael Tippett, Elizabeth Maconchy, John Woolrich, Anthony Payne, James MacMillan, Matthew Taylor and Alec Roth, collaborating with new commissions and recordings. Plans for anniversary celebrations include complete Beethoven cycles in Switzerland and in the UK, two World Premiers of quartets by Alec Roth, for the Salisbury International Festival and Malvern Club and a host of celebration concerts throughout the UK.
Our recent photo shoot took us back to the 1950s – the decade of the Allegri’s formation
BEETHOVEN CYCLE IN ENGADIN, SWITZERLAND
After two years working on and presenting Beethoven’s entire string quartets and in celebration of the Allegri’s 60th anniversary the quartet invite you to spend a week with them and Beethoven in the most beautiful valley of Switzerland, the Engadin.
Guests will stay in a fabulous hotel in Scuol, complete with thermal baths and a wellness centre (included in the price). The concerts will take place in nearby churches, with guided walks to get there, or the option to use a bus. A typical day will have three installments (at 11am, before and after dinner), of a quartet or a lecture.
For more information, click here
NEW CD RELEASE
The process of recording the Beethoven cycle has begun with the forthcoming release of the first CD of the Opus 18’s, on the Vivat label. Released in June 2013